Who talked you into cutting off the guy’s nose,
When some other part clearly curls your wife’s toes?
You dolt, she’s not lost what makes Deiphobus dear:
It’s his dick that made your wife holler and cheer.
[Quis tibi persuasit naris abscidere moecho?
Non hac peccatum est parte, marite, tibi.
Stulte, quid egisti? nihil hic tibi perdidit uxor,
Cum sit salva tui mentula Deiphobi.]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 3, epigram 85 (3.85) (AD 87-88) [tr. Ericsson (2005)]
The name Deiphobus is used here metaphorically. In myth he was son of Priam, and wed Helen after Paris. Menelaus, Helen's first husband, mutilated him. He is referenced in accounts of the Trojan Wars, as well as the Aenead.
Compare to 3.85. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:
Offended lord, what could thee discompose,
So cruelly to lop th' offender's nose?
That suff'ring limb, as thine, was innocent:
Nor feels the paramour the punishment.
Ne'er canst thou hope t' extingish either fire,
While the incendiary remains entire.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), Book 6, Part 2, ep. 35]
Who persuaded you to cut off the nose of your wife's gallant? Wretched husband, that was not the part which outraged you. Fool, what have you done? Your wife has lost nothing by the operation, since that which pleased her in your friend Deiphobus is still safe.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]
Who induced you to cut off the adulterer's nose? It was not by this party, husband, you were sinned against. You fool, what have you done? Your wife has lost nothing in this quarter, seeing the organ of your Deiphobus is safe and sound.
[tr. Ker (1919)]
What ailed you to cut off the young gallant’s nose,
And leave all unscathed the prime source of your woes?
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]
Good husband, who persuaded you
to cut off the adulterer's nose?
What good did that do, you fool?
Your wife loses nothing at all
as long as the man keeps his tool.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]
Who persuaded you to cut off the adulterer's nose?
No offence against you has been committed by this part, my good husband.
Idiot, what have you done? Your wife has lost nothing here,
Since your Deiphobus's cock is safe and sound.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]
Added on 17-Dec-22 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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